Koi fish art in the United States usually involves beer and a tattoo artist, both of which are commonly found at motorcycle rallies. Not always; some people don’t bother with the first part and tough it out. Because of all this, it’s not rare to see someone at a V-twin event sporting koi fish ink. A motorcycle done up in it isn’t something you see too much of, though.
This koi’ed-out beauty is the handiwork of Yuichi Yoshikawa and Yoshikazu Ueda of Custom Works Zon in Japan’s Shiga Prefecture. “We were invited to be in the ‘Skin & Bones’ exhibition while its curator Michael Lichter was visiting our shop in the countryside of Japan, about an hour outside of Kyoto,” they told us. “We knew it would be a long way to send a bike, but we loved the theme and the opportunity to exhibit one of our customs in Sturgis again.”
The inspiration for this bike came from a Japanese tattoo of koi fish. “Koi,” engraved into the gas tank, has a lot of meaning to the Japanese, including “knowledge,” “longevity,” “loyalty,” “courage,” “perseverance,” and “luck.” It is a very auspicious design with which the builders have attempted to create balance while conveying a sense of movement as the koi climbs the waterfall.
Regarding the technology, the shop wanted to build something different, as is evident with the single-sided swingarm in the back and center-hub steering up front. “Of course, this has been done before by the likes of Arlen Ness and a few others in the United States,” they continued, “but we have never seen this done in Japan before.”